Yesterday, Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, the culture war wing of the largest Christian university in the world, held a 1-day conference titled “Get Louder: Faith Summit 2020.” Evangelical Trump supporters were encouraged to yell and scream more, fight more, and make sure that they were active on every social media platform. This is how the Kingdom of God will advance and Christian America will be saved because in the minds of the speakers, and probably most of those in attendance, there is little difference between the two. There was virtually nothing said about civility, humility, empathy, peace, compassion, the common good, or justice for people of color or the poor.
If there is any doubt that the Falkirk Center, with its angry and bitter political rhetoric and unswerving support of Donald Trump, represents Liberty University, those doubts were put to rest in the first fifteen minutes of the event. The day began with a video from the late Jerry Falwell Sr.:
This was followed by a welcome from Liberty University Provost Scott Hicks. Scott Lamb, Liberty’s Vice President for Communications, also welcomed the audience and praised the work of the Falkirk Center.
Falkirk Center director Ryan Helfenbein introduced the day’s festivities:
The first plenary speaker was former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. He started-off with a real “historical” whopper:
Much of Huckabee’s speech confused identity politics with “collectivism.” It was an ideological mess. The real socialist collectivists in America are no fan of identity politics.
And it wouldn’t be a Huckabee speech without some fearmongering:
Huckabee is disappointed with students on “evangelical campuses”:
Next came Ralph Reed, one of the primary architects of the Christian Right playbook. Reed sings one note:
The “Great Awakening” was ubiquitous at this event:
We’ve written about the “Black-Robed Brigade here.
Falkirk Center’s co-founder Charlie Kirk’s pastor spoke:
A general observation about the day:
And then Eric Metaxas showed-up:
I compared this session on the “Christian mind” to Bruce Springsteen’s convocation address last night at another Christian college–Jesuit-run Boston College:
Next-up, court evangelical Greg Locke:
Next-up, the anti-social justice crowd:
At the end of a long day Eric Metaxas came back for a solo speech:
Please read my recent Religion News Service piece in this context of these texts.